If the Charlotte Citizens Review Board was a courtroom jury, it would be a hung jury in the case of CMPD officer Brentley Vinson. Members considered whether CMPD Chief Kerr Putney erred when he ruled that last year’s fatal police shooting of Keith Scott was justified and decided not to discipline Vinson.
Today’s 4-4 split vote came after three days of testimony and cross examinations. Although the panel is not recommending that the chief reverse his decision, Board Chair Sandra Donaghy says it is calling for change. The board voted 8-0 to make policy recommendations to CMPD "concerning policies applied and decisions made by the officers involved in the incident in September of last year."
Donaghy says she can't comment on what those recommendations will be.
The Review Board hearing was held behind closed doors. Participants are prohibited by state law from discussing the meeting because it involves a personnel matter.
Justin Bamberg, an attorney for the Scott family, called the split vote a victory of sorts.
"The board was split, which has come a long way from the chief’s early determination that no, this shooting was absolutely 150 percent justified. But four of the board members, after hearing everything, thought differently."
Justin Bamberg, Keith Scott family attorney
Bamberg says the vote was also encouraging for the possibility of success in a potential civil lawsuit.